Fire and Rescue Service Emergency Response to Fires in Residential Flats in Tower Blocks


Circular: 2017HOC0365MW

Dear Brother/Sister

For several years the union has raised our concern about the scale of cuts and reductions in our Service and the impact these are having on our ability to respond professionally and effectively to fires and other emergencies.

In the aftermath of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower we are aware that a number of services, including the London Fire Brigade, have reviewed predetermined attendances to fires in residential flats in tower blocks.

The London Fire Brigade has increased the PDA in such incidents, as have some other Fire and Rescue Services.

The minimum standards for an initial response the union calls for is as follows:

  • 2 pumps (each with a crew of 5) in no longer than 5 minutes from time of call.
  • 3 further pumps (each with a crew of 5) in no longer than 8 minutes from time of call.
  • An aerial (high reach) appliance (with a minimum crew of 2) in no longer than 10 minutes from time of call.

This is likely to need to be augmented depending on local circumstances and risk assessments of each such location.

Please find attached a letter to the Prime Minister on the subject.  Similar letters are being sent to the First Ministers in Scotland and Wales and to the Permanent Secretary in Northern Ireland.

Yours fraternally

Matt Wrack
General Secretary

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